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Police arrest Dortmund attack suspect

April 21, 2017

German police have arrested a 28-year-old man suspected of being behind last week's attack on the Borussia Dortmund soccer team. Greed, not ties to international terror, is thought to have motivated the suspect.

Dortmund - Explosion an BVB Bus
Image: Getty Images/M. Hitji

Special police forces arrested a man on Friday they suspect was responsible for the attack on Borussia Dortmund's team bus last week. Authorities are now also looking for two possible accomplices, according to the daily "Bild."

Germany's Federal Criminal Police and the Federal Prosecutors Office confirmed the arrest, which took place near the southern German city of Tübingen.

The suspect, identified by the media as Sergej W., and holding both Russian and German nationalities, was reportedly staying at the team's hotel on the day of the attack.

His room provided a view of the street where the explosions later injured Dortmund player Marc Bartra and a police officer.

"The explosive devices were detonated at the optimum time," prosecutors said, adding that each device was triggered by a separate wireless signal.

Infografik Karte Dortmund bus attack, 11.4.2017 ENG

Authorities had begun investigations against the 28-year-old suspect, late last week on 20 counts of attempted murder.

In a statement released on Friday morning, Hans-Joachim Watzke, chairman of the board, and Reinhard Rauball, BVB's president, thanks authorities for the thorough investigation.

Share price speculation?

Rather than ties to international terrorism, greed is thought to have played a role in the attack that left Dortmund player Marc Bartra and a police officer injured.

The suspect allegedly bought options to short sell 15,000 shares of Borussia Dortmund stock for 78,000 euros ($83,600). He would have profited from the transaction if the price for shares of the team fell.

"A significant share price drop could have been expected if a player had been seriously injured or even killed as a result of the attack," prosecutors said.

Ralf Jäger, the top security official in North Rhine-Westphalia state, said the suspect had hoped to earn millions though it remains unclear exactly how much the options could have earned the man.

"The man appears to have wanted to commit murder out of greed," he said.

The team's stock did fall from 5.738 euros to a low of 5.421 euros after the attack. Having recovered slightly after the attack, the company's share price slid again, closing Thursday at 5.395 euros, after the team was eliminated from the Champions League having lost both legs of its quarterfinal matchup.

On April 11, three explosive devices loaded with metal shards and planted in a hedge damaged the Dortmund team bus as the squad departed for a Champions League match against AS Monaco, 15 kilometers (9 miles) away.

ipj/sms (dpa, Reuters, SID, AFP)